NMNP -> NSA Informational Meeting
We have an exciting announcement to share with all of you concerning the future of the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program. Historically, the majority of the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program’s (NMNP) operating budget has come from grants through the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET), in addition to the cash contributions and in-kind support we receive from our partnering organizations through the Nebraska Master Naturalist Foundation (NMNF). With our current NET grant cycle ending in June of 2023, NMNP staff and leadership have been seeking a new administrative home that will offer support and financial sustainability for our program in the coming years. We are pleased to report that we are working with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to trial becoming part of their organization.
The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is part of the Nebraska Forest Service and under the umbrella of the University of Nebraska system. It has a more than 40-year history of collaborating with and supporting communities statewide to create a healthier, more resilient environment for all Nebraskans. NSA has invited the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program to become a program within their organization. Both organizations believe that our similar missions and shared values align well and will be mutually beneficial to our partners, members and stakeholders.
Benefits of this organizational merger include the following:
No changes in NMNP programming or membership/volunteer structure; the NMNP will continue to operate as normal.
NMNP will still be part of the University of Nebraska system, which will allow us to continue to benefit from the University’s reputation and network of instructors and resources that enhances our programming.
Potential for more program growth and sustainability with the support of NSA staff and their existing partnerships.
This merger will avert any disruption in NMNP program delivery and continuity.
Starting this month, the NSA and NMNP have entered a trial merger period that will run from November – March of 2023. This trial period and proposal terms have been approved by the NMNP/Foundation and the NSA Board and UNL leadership.
Together, all involved have set some specific metrics for success, including a fundraising goal established by the NSA board. In order to ensure the financial solvency of the program, the goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of March. This trial period will also help both organizations evaluate whether the mission, vision and direction of our organizations are well-aligned and well-positioned for future success.
Please see the following Q&A sheet for additional details about questions you might have. We also invite you to participate in a Zoom information session on Wednesday November 30th at 2:00pm. Hanna Pinneo, Executive Director of NSA, and I will be happy to address any additional questions and discuss the specifics of this exciting opportunity with you further.